Media Releases | 14th Oct, 2009

Coal export plans should be rejected

Wednesday 14 October, 2009

Following revelations in today’s Age, Environment Victoria called on Premier Brumby to reject proposals to develop a brown coal export industry.

The Age reported today that the Brumby Government is considering a proposal to grant a massive coal allocation to Exergen and may commence a tender process for allocating the remaining 13 billion tonnes of coal in the Latrobe Valley shortly.

Environment Victoria’s Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said a brown coal export industry would increase global greenhouse emissions and delay the Latrobe Valley’s necessary shift to a clean energy future.

“It’s astonishing that the state government is trying to expand a polluting industry that needs to be phased out to limit climate change. It appears there is a rush to allocate Victoria’s coal resource before international climate change agreements bite and the industry’s social license to operate disappears,” he said.

“Victoria’s brown coal is wet, volatile, highly polluting and very inefficient. It is really disappointing and damaging to international climate efforts that the state government is actively spruiking this dirty fuel on the world stage and attempting to lock developing countries into a polluting pathway.

“Handing over millions of dollars worth of coal to a company that plans to export it to a country that has no cap on greenhouse pollution is not in the public interest.”

Mr Wakeham said it was unclear how the export plans were consistent with the state government’s Climate Change White Paper process.

“The Brumby Government has spent the past three months consulting with communities about what should be in their Climate Change White Paper. That process would be completely undermined by any decision to make new coal allocations,” he said.

“With the high level of community concern about climate change in the state, Environment Victoria does not think a brown coal export industry has the social license to operate.

“The government will find that out the hard way at the state election if they continue to pursue an export coal industry, while if Exergen receives a coal allocation it will face serious community opposition at every step of the project.”

To arrange interviews contact: Sacha Myers, media officer, on 0417 017 844

Read The Age story on Victoria’s brown coal export industry.